For the Moon to Lead, and All the Stars to Follow

Author: annmarwalk

Nominator: EdorasLass

2006 Award Category: Genres: Romance: Gondor - Second Place

Story Type: Other Fiction  ✧  Length: Other Fixed-Length Ficlet

Rating: G  ✧  Reason for Rating: n/a

Summary: "He smiles and leads her, tender as a lover, to the dance. " A dowager lady of Minas Tirith considers love and loss.

Read the Story

Reviewed by: Mechtild  ✧  Score: 8

In a short space, you set the scene and mood; a man at a social event, gracefully doing his duty. Who is he? You do not say. An unknown woman is watching. Is she married? Is she young? Is she old? She has been watching him dance with every sort of partner. She was in love with the man’s father, Denethor, we learn, but Denethor did not return her love, or, not in time. She married someone else. Who is she watching, Faramir or Boromir? They have a habitual, amused exchange between them, him always asking her to dance, she always declining. That sounds like Boromir, not Faramir. The easy, almost world-weary air of the piece changes with the flicker of candlelight; it illuminates the dancer just as it blazes up in the mind of the woman. Suddenly I find out that to this woman Denethor once had been fiercely radiant, which makes me suddenly sad, thinking how he will end up – with another sort of radiance, far more fierce. How doubly sweet is Boromir’s invitation (named at last) to lead her to the floor, becoming for her the partner she would never be able to have.

Reviewed by: Branwyn  ✧  Score: 7

We don't often see this side of Boromir, but he must have well-schooled in courtly graces and a veteran of long and dull social affairs (like this one). I like this OFC's independent streak; every other woman in the room was probably clamoring to dance with him, but she holds herself aloof. She seems more resigned than resentful, but I found myself feeling resentment on her behalf that she was married off in an arranged match at a young age. In this drabble, every woman is carefully defined by her marital status and by the wealth and power of her male relatives. I wondered if the anonymous narrator refused to join the dance because she did not want to assign herself to the category of [silver-haired dowagers]! But I was glad when, in the end, she stopped letting past disappointments deprive her of joy in the present. As another reader mentioned, it is a shame that she and Denethor couldn't have shared a quiet friendship after so many years. A lyrical and bittersweet drabble.

Reviewed by: EdorasLass  ✧  Score: 6

This is one of my very very favourite drabbles ever, of yours or otherwise. There's so much history hinted at in so few words: the nameless woman thinking on her past with Denethor makes me want to know more about that relationship. The way she remembers her past while watching Boromir is at once moving and bittersweet; it gives the impression that she isn't really seeing Boromir himself, but the ghost of his father. Boromir's attitude toward her is wonderful, and speaks volumes of his gracious nature, a side of him we often don't get to see. He asks her to dance though he knows she'll refuse, and his delight when she does accept is just lovely and heartwarming. A perfectly lovely and dignified OFC, whom I find very intriguing.

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 5

I really liked this. Not that the woman here is a paragon of virtue, but it's nice to see an OFC with a backbone and who is perhaps a little manipulative. And Boromir is using all of those women to make him appear respectable (and we know where his heart really lies, right, Ann?) so it seems only right that she would use him right back. But more than that you have hinted at a wonderfully deep tale of unrequited love between her and Denethor. It makes me wish that Denethor could reach out to one who loved him so well, that she could provide a bit of balance. So much packed in here! Really nice job of creationg a whole world in so short a piece.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 4

Interesting little vignette. Denethor's unperturbed performance of this particular duty, and her longing for him to look her way just once, neatly sets up the balance between them. I like that her refusal to dance with him over the years has become a kind of joke, if one with a certain, painful point. The last scene with Boromir taking his father's place is sweet, though sad--for in fact, he's as sterile when it comes to love's flowering as his father is now and nothing can come of this one dance, for all its beauty.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 3

A sweet, wistful vignette with a poignant intersection of three lives in a few words. I like it that the old woman, who has vainly loved Denethor and apparently lost her own sons, is the only woman who moves Boromir emotionally. His act of tenderness is convincing and moving. Lovely last line, too!

Reviewed by: Bodkin  ✧  Score: 3

The decisions are all in the hands of men - until age and wealth and position delivers to some women the power of choice. Mind you, she seems to care for the son more than the father. Perhaps she was just born out of time. I'm glad she danced with him.

Reviewed by: Marigold  ✧  Score: 3

I was so glad to see her give in at last and dance with the son of the man she loved in vain. Perhaps this is the first step to allowing herself to feel again. Boromir was also well depicted. Lovely work!

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 3

Oh, Ann, how this story delights me, the story of the woman who once loved Denethor in vain, and now finds a moment of memory fulfilled as she finally dances with Denethor's son. Lovely indeed.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 2

What a sweet and delightful little vignette. I love the idea of Boromir being so kind and thoughtful to the older woman. I don't know who she is, but I'd like to.

Reviewed by: dkpalaska  ✧  Score: 2

Excellent inner voice, and descriptions, particularly of Boromir's dancing partners. A great deal of backstory and personal feeling were captured well in a very short space.

Reviewed by: Jenn_Calaelen  ✧  Score: 1

A nice vignette,